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The Yawning Portal inn, built in 1306 DR[2] by the later Lord of Waterdeep Durnan on the ruins of Halaster Blackcloak's old tower,[3] gained most of its renown for being the primary open route to the Undermountain. A well within its walls led down into the first dungeon of Undermountain.[4]

LocationEdit

The Yawning Portal was located on Rainrun Street[5] in Waterdeep's Castle Ward between Waterdeep Castle and Snail Street.[6]

InteriorEdit

A stone building with a slate roof, the Yawning Portal offered guest rooms on the three upper floors.[7] Well-worn boards covered the floor, but the main impression was of comfort. Rich blue tapestries decorated the wood-paneled walls of the common room, which consisted of a bar and tables of stout wood.[7] A signboard that simply read "The Yawning Portal," hanging on chains from a black iron pole above the front door, announced the entry to the inn.[5]

Entry to UndermountainEdit

The inn had a total two wells that both could serve as entry points to Undermountain. The first measured 40 feet in diameter (12 meters), descended 140 feet (43 meters), and was located between the bar and dining tables. This dry well was the main and the only publicly known passage to Undermountain. A waist-high stone ring was built around the well to prevent customers and objects to fall into the dungeon. Around passing the 50 feet point (15 meters), the well grew completely dark and on reaching the floor, one entered a sandy floor with stone walls decorated with shields. These shields were rusty to the point of uselessness but for one purpose: people who wanted to be drawn up hit these shields and the noise made that way was considered a sign that people below wanted to be pulled up from the dungeon.[8]

The second well was a normal in the sense that water could be pulled up from it. It was located in the back room and was the inn's source of washing water. It led to a total of two areas directly: to a different area of Undermountain than the Entry Well and to the sewers of Waterdeep. It also led to the Pool of Loss, a portal to Hades.[8]

AtmosphereEdit

The clientele consisted mostly of adventurers eager to enter the depths of Undermountain. The Called,[9] as they were sometimes known, listened to Waterdhavians, who were only too keen on sharing rumors and stories about the dungeon. As Durnan, despite his old age, was still a brawny man,[as of when?] who kept his old greatsword among the racks and asked any troublemakers to leave the inn, the Yawning Portal remained safe from toughs and brawlers.[10]

ServicesEdit

Yawning Portal tankard

A tankard from the Yawning Portal.

A typical dish served at the Yawning Portal consisted of quipper and chips. Shadowdark ale was a popular beverage served at the taproom.[11]

Durnan and the local church of Tymora had a deal. Durnan was to pay the church a daily fee and the church sent daily a cleric of theirs over as medical personell. The clergy's service cost the injured a donation, which was effectively a fee for it was enforced and not merely expected, in the form of cash for the clergy did not accept credits.[8]

While this was not exactly a service of the inn, it was quite common for customers to gamble on the success of those who ventured into Undermountain.[8]

PricesEdit

  • Entrance down the Entry Well to Undermountain cost 1 gp per person [7][1][8]
  • The fee for getting hoisted up again was 1 gp per person [7][1]
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InhabitantsEdit

Management & StaffEdit

By 1375 DR,[12] the Yawning Portal was run by its builder, Durnan, and his wife Mhaere Dryndilstann with the aid of their daughter Tamsil Dryndilstann. The staff consisted of the waitresses and kitchen maids Luranla Dreer and Marrauda Belaskurth. Jarandur Tallstand and Parth Melander were the senior and junior cook respectively. The rest of the staff is made up of Tarlgarth Vathar, the stablemaster, his two hostlers and four hard-working chambermaids.[13]

Apart from aforementioned cleric of Tymora who was mentioned above, there were always at least four fighters who were loyal to Durnan in the inn's taproom. These warriors pretended to be customers and their loyalty to the innkeeper was extraordinary, even magical compulsion could not make them harm or move against Durnan or his family.[8]

Following Durnan's return to Undermountain and subsequent absence for almost a century, management of the inn passed to his descendants. However, by the late 15th century DR, Durnan returned and reclaimed ownership of the establishment, buying it back from his family and providing them with a quiet retirement.[1]

AppendixEdit

GalleryEdit

AppearancesEdit

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Further ReadingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Kim Mohan, Mike Mearls (April 2017). Tales from the Yawning Portal. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 978-0786966097.
  2. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  3. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  4. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  6. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  9. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  10. Matthew Sernett (2005-03-09). Return to Undermountain Introduction. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2008-02-11.
  11. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  12. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  13. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
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